Real name: Mary Lucy Denise Pudlowski
Birthdate: April 6, 1952
Born Mary Lucy Denise Pudlowski in Chicago, Illinois to a Greek mother and Polish father, Henner was raised on the northwest side of the city in the Logan Square neighborhood. Her mother Loretta was president of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts and ran the Henner Dance School ("disguised as a three-car garage") for twenty years. Henner took her first dance class at age two and, like all the Henner children, began teaching classes herself at 14. She went on to study with the Illinois Ballet Company before going into theater. She made her Broadway debut in the original production of Grease in 1972. Additional Broadway credits include Over Here!, during which her longtime friendship with John Travolta began, revivals of Pal Joey and Chicago, and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Her first film appearance was in the 1977 sleeper hit Between The Lines co-starring then-unknowns Jeff Goldblum, Lindsay Crouse, John Heard and Jill Eikenberry.
Henner came to national prominence with the role of Elaine Nardo in the television series Taxi. She was the leading lady in the 1984 film Johnny Dangerously, playing love interest to Michael Keaton. She also appeared in Man on the Moon (1999), a film about her Taxi co-star Andy Kaufman as both herself and as her Taxi character.
From 1990 through 1994 she appeared opposite Burt Reynolds in the TV show Evening Shade, which also starred Ossie Davis and Hal Holbrook.
Henner is currently known best as a health advocate. She has authored six books on diet and health, the most prominent being Total Health Makeover, in which she explains the virtues of a non-dairy diet in conjunction with food combining & exercise.
Several years ago, during an interview on the late-night NBC program Later, she revealed that she can remember what she did on any given date in the past. The host, Bob Costas chose to ask about July 20, 1969, the night of the first moon landing. Henner was briefly dumbstruck before revealing that she had lost her virginity that night in the shower, to which Costas replied, "At least we know Neil Armstrong wasn't the culprit." (See hyperthymesia.)
Henner starred in the Brooks & Dunn video "You Can't Take The Honky Tonk Out of The Girl" in late 2003.
In 2005, Henner was the host of America's Ballroom Challenge. Her latest project is the television series Shape Up Your Life, which is based on her books. It currently is airing on FitTV and The Discovery Channel.
In her autobiography By All Means, Keep on Moving, Henner discussed her many romances including, most notably, actors Travolta, John Schneider, and her Taxi costars Judd Hirsch and Tony Danza. Her first two marriages to actor Frederic Forrest and director Robert Lieberman ended in divorce. She married Michael Brown, a former college classmate, on December 21, 2006 before one hundred people in her Los Angeles home. It was the second for Brown, who has three children from his prior marriages. She has two children, Nicholas Morgan and Joseph Marlon, from her marriage to Lieberman.